about stupas
8 types of stupas
many doors
constructing stupas
filling stupas
advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche
> start

There are five mantras that Lama Zopa Rinpoche says should go in all statues and stupas. Mantras should always be rolled starting from the beginning of the mantra with the words rolled inside. Once rolled, one should draw an arrow on the outside of the roll indicating which side is up. Always place the mantras right side up inside the stupa or statue. If the statue or stupa is very small, then you can roll all five mantras together so they will all fitinside. Alternatively, you can make rolls of each of the five individually and put them inside in any order. If one has also the set of mantras called de.nga, the five powerful mantras, one can also put some of these inside, though the main portion of mantras placed inside should consist of the five mantras below.

The five mantras are:
(1) Stainless Beam root mantra, (2) Stainless Beam mantra, (3) the Most Precious Mantra Ornament of Enlightenment, (4) the Most Precious Mantra of the Secret Relic, and (5) Stainless Pinnacle mantra.

Regarding the tsog.shing mantra at the bottom of this page, this is to be written in gold in the four directions on the central pole (life tree) of large statues and stupas.

Regarding the Stainless Beam mantra, Lama Zopa Rinpoche says that if you offer a bell to a stupa that contains this mantra, the sound of the bell will purify the ten non-virtues and the five uninterrupted negative karmas of all who hear it. Also, if one circumambulates a stupa or statue that contains this mantra, it will also purify the ten non-virtues and the five uninterrupted negative karmas.

Regarding the Most Precious Mantra Ornament of Enlightenment, by putting this inside one receives the benefit of building 100,000 stupas.

Regarding the Most Precious Mantra of the Secret Relic, if one circumambulates a stupa that contains even one of these mantras, it will purify the causes of the eight hot hells.


24. tog top
23. nyima sun
22. dawa moon
21. chhar kheb rain cover
20. thugje dozung symbol of compassion
19. zar tshag canopy
18. pho tshag father ring
17. mokhor mother ring
16. chhokhor chusum 13 dharmachakras
15. dug deg padma lotus parasol
14. dre harmika
13. dre ten support for the harmika
12. dre men foundation of the harmika
11. bumpa vase
10. go khyim door of the vase
9. bum daen seat of the vase
8. bang rim steps
7. ge chu 10 virtues
5. bae gam large lotuses (balcony)
4. bae chung small lotuses (small border)
3. dong chen face
2. them kae stairs
1. sa dzin foundation

For our purposes let's label 4 sections:
2 - 6
7 - 8
9 - 11
12 - 14
15 - 18
19 - 24
the base
the throne
the 4 steps
the vase
the harmika
the 13 rings
the top


1. The throne:
should be filled with the "wordly" substances and ojects, not mantras or statues or texts etc. You can place 4 vases in the throne -
i) treasure vase containing gold, silver, pearls, turquoise, conch shells and other jewels and semi-precious stones etc.
ii) grains vase containing wheat, barley, rice, yellow peas and unhusked rice
iii) medicinal vase containing (Tib.) le tre, gyatso luwa, kanda kari (half caterpillar, half fungus), lagpa wangpo and shudag karpo
iv) aromatics vase containing red and white sandalwoods, camphor saffron, nutmeg
Other items are new clothing, weapons, knives, cars, globe of the world, honey, butter, sugar, tea, meat, five coloured cloths (signifying the five wisdoms), magazines, pictures of masses of people, pictures of famous, influential people, pictures of rich people, soil etc. from holy places.  If there is much space then it can be filled with more grains and other foodstuffs (sealed off from insects), and incense and aromatic wood etc. The Dzambala mandala should go in the throne under the sog.shing.

2. The sog.shing (life-tree or life-wood) goes through the centre of the stupa from the base of the steps (bang rim) up to the top of the 13 rings.

3. The 4 steps and vase:
filled with Dharma objects such as tsatsas and statues, mantras, texts, relics. Imagining that a buddha is sitting inside the stupa with the head touching the top of the vase and the legs crossed at the base of the 4 steps, the various statues, mantra rolls texts and relics should be placed at the appropriate level. The largest number of mantras should be the 4 Dharmakaya Relic mantras which can be placed anywhere.